Most people use “film” and “movie” interchangeably. “Film” is more often used when considering artistic, theoretical, or technical aspects, as studies in a university class. “Movies” more often refers to entertainment or commercial aspects, as where to go for fun on a date. For example, a book titled “How to Read a Film” would be about the aesthetics or theory of film, while “Lets Go to the Movies” would be about the history of entertaining movies. “Motion pictures” or “Moving pictures” are films and movies. A “DVD” is a digital format which may be used to reproduce an analogue film, while “videotape” (“video“) was for many decades a solely analog media onto which moving images could be recorded and electronically (rather than optically) reproduced. Strictly speaking, “Film” refers to the media onto which a visual image is shot, and to this end it may seem improper for work in other ‘moving image’ media to be referred to as a “film” and the action of shooting as “filming”, though these terms are still in general use. “Silent films” need not be silent, but are films and movies without an audible dialogue, though they may have a musical soundtrack. “Talkies” refers to early movies or films having audible dialogue or analogue sound, not just a musical accompaniment. “Cinema” either broadly encompasses both films and movies, or is roughly synonymous with “Film”, both capitalized when referring to a category of art. The “silver screen” refers to classic black and white films before color, not to contemporary films without color.
The expression ‘Sight and Sound‘, as in the film journal of the same name, means “film”. The following icons mean film – a “candle and bell”, as in the films Tarkovsky, of a segment of film stock, or a two faced Janus image, and an image of a movie camera in profile.
“Widescreen” and “Cinemascope” refers to a larger width to height in the frame, compared to an earlier historic aspect ratios. A “feature length film”, or “feature film“, is of a conventional full length, usually 60 minutes or more, and can commercially stand by itself without other films in a ticketed screening. A “short” is a film that is not as long as a feature length film, usually screened with other shorts, or preceding a feature length film. An “independent” is a film made outside of the conventional film industry.
A “screening” or “projection” is the projection of a film or video on a screen at a public or private theater, usually but not always of a film, but of a video or DVD when of sufficient projection quality. A “double feature” is a screening of two independent, stand-alone, feature films. A “viewing” is a watching of a film. A “showing” is a screening or viewing on an electronic monitor. “Sales” refers to tickets sold at a theater, or more currently, rights sold for individual showings. A “release” is the distribution and often simultaneous screening of a film. A “preview” is a screening in advance of the main release.
“Hollywood” may be used either as a pejorative adjective, shorthand for asserting an overly commercial rather than artistic intent or outcome, as in “too Hollywood”, or as a descriptive adjective to refer to a film originating with people who ordinarily work near Los Angeles.
Expressions for Genres of film are sometimes used interchangeably for “film” in a specific context, such as a “porn” for a film with explicit sexual content, or “cheese” for films that are light, entertaining and not highbrow.
Any film may also have a “sequel“, which portrays events following those in the film. Bride of Frankenstein is an early example. When there are a number of films with the same characters, we have a “series”, such as the James Bond series. A film which portrays events that occur earlier than those in another film, but is released after that film, is sometimes called a “Prequel“, an example being Butch and Sundance: The Early Days.
Credits is a list of the people involved in making the film. Before the 1970s, credits were usually at the beginning of a film. Since then, the credits roll at the end of most films.
Movie Industry – Independent Movie Channel
The making and showing of motion pictures became a source of profit almost as soon as the process was invented. Upon seeing how successful their new invention, and its product, was in their native France, the Lumières quickly set about touring the Continent to exhibit the first films privately to royalty and publicly to the masses. In each country, they would normally add new, local scenes to their catalogue and, quickly enough, found local entrepreneurs in the various countries of Europe to buy their equipment and photograph, export, import and screen additional product commercially. The Oberammergau Passion Play of 1898 was the first commercial motion picture ever produced. Other pictures soon followed, and motion pictures became a separate industry that overshadowed the vaudeville world. Dedicated theaters and companies formed specifically to produce and distribute films, while motion picture actors became major celebrities and commanded huge fees for their performances. Already by 1917, Charlie Chaplin had a contract that called for an annual salary of one million dollars.
In the United States today, much of the film industry is centered around Hollywood. Other regional centers exist in many parts of the world, such as Mumbai-centered Bollywood, the Indian film industry’s Hindi cinema which produces the largest number of films in the world. Whether the ten thousand-plus feature length films a year produced by the Valley pornographic film industry should qualify for this title is the source of some debate. Though the expense involved in making movies has led cinema production to concentrate under the auspices of movie studios, recent advances in affordable film making equipment have allowed independent film productions to flourish.
Profit is a key force in the industry, due to the costly and risky nature of filmmaking; many films have large cost overruns, a notorious example being Kevin Costner’s Waterworld. Yet many filmmakers strive to create works of lasting social significance. The Academy Awards (also known as “the Oscars”) are the most prominent film awards in the United States, providing recognition each year to films, ostensibly based on their artistic merits.
There is also a large industry for educational and instructional films made in lieu of or in addition to lectures and texts.
Preceding film by thousands of years, plays and dances had elements common to film: scripts, sets, costumes, production, direction, actors, audiences, storyboards, and scores. Much terminology later used in film theory and criticism applied, such as mise en scene (roughly, the entire visual picture at any one time). Moving visual and aural images were not recorded for replaying as in film.
Anthemius of Tralles used an early type of camera obscura in the 6th century The camera obscura was further described by Alhazen in his Book of Optics (1021), and later near the year 1600, it was perfected by Giambattista della Porta. Light is inverted through a small hole or lens from outside, and projected onto a surface or screen, creating a moving image, but it is not preserved in a recording.
In the 1860s, mechanisms for producing two-dimensional drawings in motion were demonstrated with devices such as the zoetrope, mutoscope and praxinoscope. These machines were outgrowths of simple optical devices (such as magic lanterns) and would display sequences of still pictures at sufficient speed for the images on the pictures to appear to be moving, a phenomenon called persistence of vision. Naturally the images needed to be carefully designed to achieve the desired effect, and the underlying principle became the basis for the development of film animation.
With the development of celluloid film for still photography, it became possible to directly capture objects in motion in real time. An 1878 experiment by English photographer Eadweard Muybridge in the United States using 24 cameras produced a series of stereoscopic images of a galloping horse, is arguably the first “motion picture,” though it was not called by this name. This technology required a person to look into a viewing machine to see the pictures which were separate paper prints attached to a drum turned by a handcrank. The pictures were shown at a variable speed of about 5 to 10 pictures per second, depending on how rapidly the crank was turned. Commercial versions of these machines were coin operated.
By the 1880s the development of the motion picture camera allowed the individual component images to be captured and stored on a single reel, and led quickly to the development of a motion picture projector to shine light through the processed and printed film and magnify these “moving picture shows” onto a screen for an entire audience. These reels, so exhibited, came to be known as “motion pictures”. Early motion pictures were static shots that showed an event or action with no editing or other cinematic techniques. The first public exhibition of projected motion pictures in America was shown at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in New York City on the 23rd of April 1896.
Ignoring Dickson’s early sound experiments (1894), commercial motion pictures were purely visual art through the late 19th century, but these innovative silent films had gained a hold on the public imagination. Around the turn of the 20th century, films began developing a narrative structure by stringing scenes together to tell narratives. The scenes were later broken up into multiple shots of varying sizes and angles. Other techniques such as camera movement were realized as effective ways to portray a story on film. Rather than leave the audience with noise of early cinema projectors, theater owners would hire a pianist or organist or a full orchestra to play music that would cover noises of projector. Eventually, musicians would start to fit the mood of the film at any given moment. By the early 1920s, most films came with a prepared list of sheet music for this purpose, with complete film scores being composed for major productions.
The rise of European cinema was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I when the film industry in United States flourished with the rise of Hollywood, typified most prominently by the great innovative work of D.W. Griffith in The Birth of a Nation (1914) and Intolerance (1916). However in the 1920s, European filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein, F. W. Murnau, and Fritz Lang, in many ways inspired by the meteoric war-time progress of film through Griffith, along with the contributions of Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton and others, quickly caught up with American film-making and continued to further advance the medium. In the 1920s, new technology allowed filmmakers to attach to each film a soundtrack of speech, music and sound effects synchronized with the action on the screen. These sound films were initially distinguished by calling them “talking pictures”, or talkies.
The next major step in the development of cinema was the introduction of so-called “natural” color. While the addition of sound quickly eclipsed silent film and theater musicians, color was adopted more gradually as methods evolved making it more practical and cost effective to produce “natural color” films. Early films were black and white, then during it’s developement as a photographic medium, color films became a rare novelty in the 1940’s.
By the end of World War II, films were produced in black-and-white as opposed to color photography, but as color processes improved and became affordable in film making, more and more movies were filmed in color. After World War II the motion picture industry in America came to view color as essential, motivated by the need to attract audiences by competition with television, which remained a black-and-white medium until the mid-1960s. By the end of the 1960s, color had become the norm for film makers.
Since the decline of the studio system in the 1960s, the succeeding decades saw changes in the production and style of film. Various New Wave movements (including the French New Wave, Indian New Wave, Japanese New Wave and New Hollywood) and the rise of film school educated independent filmmakers were all part of the changes the medium experienced in the latter half of the 20th century. Digital technology has been the driving force in change throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s.